Having Lots to Learn

Prior to the real estate bubble, landowners and developers subdivided private working lands.  The speculative housing market drove real estate prices to values many multiples greater than values for forest, farm and ranch production.  The bubble residue left a pattern on the landscape of premature subdivisions – a configuration of building sites with no one home.  Three partners share an interest in learning from this subdivided history:  Valley Advocates for Responsible Development (VARD – Teton County, Idaho), the Sonoran Institute, and the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy


The Sonoran Institute and the Lincoln Institute convened a workshop in Salt Lake City in November, 2009.    The stakeholders addressed the issues surrounding premature and obsolete subdivisions, using Teton County’s subdivision history as an example.  The workshop topics included:

  1. Definition of the problem..
  2. Review of policy options for addressing the problem.
  3. The critical applied research needs of rural communities faced with exurban development.
  4. Building on the case study of Teton County to define the next steps to address the issue in other Intermountain West communities.

A second workshop will convene in Teton County on March 15th, 2010.  Hosted by VARD, the workshop will review ideas proposed from the Salt Lake City gathering.  The agenda and location for the workshop will be posted on the VARD website.  The website currently includes valuable reference material that documents the rural subdivision patterns in Teton County.  Read more>>

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